Rothesay Rotarians among the winners in Clyde Marine Challenge

Mistral, crewed by two Bute residents and winner of the Cumbraes Cup.
Mistral, crewed by two Bute residents and winner of the Cumbraes Cup.

The Rotary Club of Rothesay had representatives in a marine fundraising event that took place in the Clyde last month, with two yachts crewed by local Rotarians picking up prizes.

The 11th Clyde Marine Challenge went ahead from September 15-16, with six boats taking part in the annual event organised by Bute’s own Ronnie Falconer, who previously worked for Jacobs UK as a civil engineer, and who is a member of the Rotary Club of Rothesay.

The CIWEM Sponsorship Decanter is presented by Ronnie Falconer and Linda Hepburn to the crew of the yacht which raised the most for charity.

The CIWEM Sponsorship Decanter is presented by Ronnie Falconer and Linda Hepburn to the crew of the yacht which raised the most for charity.

The two charities that benefited were Water Aid, who received £2000, and Spinal Research, who got £1000.

Ronnie Falconer told the Buteman: “I started the event in 2007 following an idea conceived with my colleague Roy Hepburn.

“He died from cancer before the first event and the main prize, the Roy Hepburn Rosebowl, is presented in his memory by his widow Linda Hepburn.

“To date we’ve raised around £55,000 for charity, mainly WaterAid but also Spinal Research following my brother-in-law’s cycling accident three years ago.”

Another shot of Mistral, crewed by Ralph Anderson and Ronnie McAlister.

Another shot of Mistral, crewed by Ralph Anderson and Ronnie McAlister.

He explained the premise: “The concept is based on providing the opportunity of sailing through some of the most beautiful parts of the Firth of Clyde to those who may never have sailed before or have little sailing experience.

“Accomplished sailors are of course welcome too!”

Six boats sailed from Largs to Tarbert against a stiff north-westerly wind, then back via the Kyles of Bute and Port Bannatyne.

A variety of prizes were awarded at Largs Sailing Club on September 17 for various challenges.

The yacht ‘Mistral’ was crewed by Ralph Anderson and Ronnie McAllister of the Rotary club, and performed the best overall on the timed legs to collect the Cumbraes Cup.

Meanwhile the crew of ‘Caranna’, which included Ronnie Falconer himself, collected the Roy Hepburn Rosebowl for winning a treasure hunt and a nautical-themed quiz.

Alongside the two Rotary boats, three were crewed by employees of Jacobs UK and one by Arcadis, with all of them sponsored in order to raise funds for the two charities.